messy child's play room
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
January 29, 2024 ·  4 min read

Mom’s controversial punishment for five-year-old’s messy room: ‘It’s not mommy’s job’

When her five-year-old son refused to clean his room after she asked him repeatedly for two days, this mom decided she’d had it with his disobedience. She posted about her solution to this problem on TikTok, which received mixed reviews. Here are the details of her controversial punishment – you can decide if you think it was appropriate or not for yourself.

Mom’s Controversial Punishment For 5-Year-Old Son

TikTok user Tabatha Marie was fed up with her son’s behavior surrounding his messy room. To start her video, she shared what her son’s bedroom looked like, aka an explosion of toys all over the room. She explained that she had been asking him to clean his room for two days now. Finally, that day, when she asked him again, he responded “no, you clean it mummy.” (1)

That was the final straw for her. She wanted to teach her young son a lesson in respect, particularly for women and mothers. So, she did clean it up for him – by gathering up every toy he’d left on the floor, putting it in a black garbage bag, and “throwing them in the trash”.

Now, she clarified that she didn’t actually throw them away – she hid them up in the attack, explaining that he’ll have to earn them back. She simply wanted him to believe that she had in order to drive the lesson home that (1):

  1. It’s not mommy’s job to clean up his room
  2. When mommy asks him to do something, he needs to do it the first time

While there were many commenters praising her for her punishment, there were just as many slamming her parenting tactics. Her controversial punishment has really divided the TikTok community. (1)


I hated seeing the look on his face when he seen his room. It hurt me just as much but my babies will not be disrespectful #parenting #fyp #foryoupage

♬ original sound – Tabatha Marie

The Support

Tabatha had many supporters of her controversial punishment. Many users commented that their own parents did the same thing and that this was a lesson he won’t soon forget. 

“You went full latina on this!” said one commenter. “Si en media horano está limpia el cuarto, todo lo que veo en el piso va a la basura.” (1)

“Love it! You Clean the way I clean. Way to go mom!” wrote another.

In response to many of the users that claimed the boy was too young to clean such a messy room by himself, another commenter talked about her experience with her own daughter.

“For everyone making excuses for a 4 year old. My daughter is 4 and always cleans her room when told. Yes she cries but still does it. You need to show them responsibilities at a young age.” (1)

Those Against the Controversial Punishment

There were just as many people who thought her punishment was too harsh and ineffective for a five-year-old than those who were for it, if not more. They argued that a mess that big was likely very overwhelming for a child that young and that she should have helped him.

“It’s too overwhelming at 5. Him saying “you do it” was his way of saying he didn’t know how,” wrote one commenter. “For overwhelming tasks like this break it up into smaller tasks.” (1)

Another agreed, saying that their child’s room often gets messy in the same way. The child is still quite young, so she doesn’t expect them to clean it up entirely on their own.

“My kid’s room looks like this sometimes. I would never expect her to clean all of that by herself, mentally that’s overwhelming for a small child.” (1)

Others disagreed with her but also recognized that they didn’t know the entire situation. They suggested that perhaps she should sit down with her son and talk with him about why what he said was wrong and find out why exactly he doesn’t want to clean his room.

Others Opinions

There other styles of opinions, too, including those who claimed child abuse, who said good for her for throwing the stuff out because he clearly has too much, and others flat-out wondering why kids these days have so many toys. It is not clear as to whether or not many of these commenters actually watched the video properly. If they had, they would know that the toys weren’t actually thrown out. What do you think about Tabatha’s controversial punishment? Was it warranted, or do you think she should have handled the situation differently?

Keep Reading: Emotional Moment 12-Year-Old Delivers Her Own Baby Brother Captured On Camera